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Archive for January, 2012

The Beaver Sisters were the most depraved, disgusting, obscene band I have seen. It truly was a sight to behold as they performed glam rock infused with the spirit of The Rocky Horror Picture Show in the bars and two-star hotels of the humdrum north-east of Scotland in the late 80s/ 90s.

The Sisters were from Dundee, and were led by Jock Ferguson, an actor who went by the stage name Plenty O’Tool, after a character in a James Bond film (where else?)

The first time I saw them was at Clippers, although it may have been known as the Duke of Montrose by then, a pub that initially basked in the town’s oil-related economic boom, but by the early 90s had become just another pub as the novelty wore off. 

This evening saw the debut of female backing singer, Pussy Farts, a coy young lady who performed very well, despite the place being full of bevvied-up bikers, alcoholics and general wasters, which included myself. With a bunch of hairy bikers you’d expect a band to be careful. But Jock laid into them, with his customary Dundonian wit, and the bikers loved it.

Musically, they would play 70s glam-cock, Jeepster being a regular, as well as Jayne/ Wayne County’s If You Don’t Want to Fuck Me Baby, Baby Fuck Off played in  their typical, over-the-top manner.

A night with the Beaver Sisters was less about music than about debauched entertainment. Jock was the kind of larger-than-life character who could get away with anything on stage, so he’d berate anyone that looked a bit out of place – and his victims would girn their teeth and wish he’d get distracted by some other poor unfortunate.

They would play all the toilets of Dundee (the ones at Foreigners being quite, ahem, fun apparently), Montrose, Arbroath, Kirriemuir, Forfar, Brechin probably, basically anywhere that would take them.

The core of the band was Drew Ramsay, Pete Silvers, Anth Brown, Barry Gibson and Steve Hamilton, according to the Retro Dundee blogsite http://retrodundee.blogspot.com/2010/02/beaver-sisters.html

Despite being together for six or seven years, the Sisters never released an album, nor even a single, just three cassettes sold locally. Perhaps a highlight was being introduced by a rather bemused looking Richard Madeley on national television, as they performed Sweet Transvestite, from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. I found this revelation in a Herald interview with Ferguson but couldn’t find any confirmation of it anywhere, not even if it was This Morning, the popular morning show Madeley did with his wife Judy Finigan.

After the Beavers put away their make-up and lavish costumes, Ferguson threw himself into acting, landing the part of a lord in Chasing the Deer, alongside Brian Blessed and Iain Cuthbertson. 

In my research I found this letter to the editor in a local rag that had an unusual view of the band: “With their spirited renditions of show-tunes and pop oldies performed in glamorous stage costumes, they soon acquired a big following on the pub circuit.” (Letters to the editor, Dundee’s Evening Telegraph, April 2006). The writer’s pseudonym was Pipe and Fluffy Slippers and talks of “us old older lads” and the tone of an old foggy reminiscing of the good ol’ days, which makes me wonder if this was Jock himself pulling people’s legs, especially as he knows their debut gig was at the Tayside Bar in 1986.

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